RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, remember during the Obama years when the economy was foundering and there wasn’t any economic growth and we were being told that, well, this is the new norm. We really never deserved our previous superpower status because it was achieved in an immoral and unjust way. We must learn to adjust to life like most in the world live life, and our economy for the longest time will be in a state of decline, and the objective here is to manage that decline. I mean, these were not word-for-word utterances from the Obama administration, but this was the point.
And we kept losing jobs. And then Obamacare came along and, not only were we losing more jobs, the job classifications were changing. More businesses, small and large, firing people and replacing them with part-timers working less than 30 hours a week because under the Obamacare rules you didn’t have to provide anybody health insurance if they only worked 29 hours a week.
So, it was a bad situation. There were new jobs that were not being created. The labor force participation rate, I remember talking about this constantly, the number of able-bodied Americans that were not working was in the 93 to 94 million range. There was no good economic news. And the Obama administration continued to monkey around with the unemployment rate. And they would claim that the unemployment rate was declining even though we were only creating 125,000 new jobs a month or 77,000 new jobs, and the reason for that is that after you stopped looking for work and were still unemployed you were no longer counted as unemployed in the category of unemployment that they always reported, and that was called the U-3.
The Labor Department has six different categories to express unemployment, and the U-3 is what is always reported. The U-6 number includes the people who are out of work and have been out of work so long they’re no longer looking. The U-3 number is designed to only measure employment among people who are unemployed but want to work and those who are working.
The U-6 number is always going to be a much higher percentage because it includes the people who’ve been out of work so long, they’ve exhausted their unemployment benefits, they still haven’t found work, and they’ve given up looking. Meaning, they’re not showing up to register for benefits. They’re not following any requirements to report where they’ve looked for jobs. They’ve just fallen off the charts and they are part of that 94 million not working.
And during those years, we here at the EIB Network always reported the U-6 number because the U-6 number was a more accurate portrayal of the employment and unemployment situation in the country. The Drive-By Media would never even acknowledge the U-6 number. The Drive-By Media stuck with the U-3 number because it was that number that allowed them to report the unemployment rate, which is utterly meaningless, was falling.
I think it ended up at around 4.9% the last number in the last quarter or two of the Obama presidency. It was an absolute joke. How can you have an employment rate at 4.9% when 94 million Americans are not working? Anyway, lo and behold, now the January employment numbers have been released, and, all of a sudden, guess who has discovered the U-6 unemployment number? Why, no less than the Drive-By Media.
And CNBC: “Unemployment rose slightly in January, but a more realistic rate is even higher.” So here is the acknowledgment that during the entire eight years of Obama, they knew that there was a more realistic portrayal of the employment and unemployment situation in America, and they ignored it. Now that Trump is in office, not only are they gonna report it, they’re gonna acknowledge that it is more realistic.
“The national unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.8 percent in January, the Labor Department announced Friday. But relying on that one headline number as an indicator of the economy overall ignores important information just below the surface.”
Really? Isn’t it amazing how this happens? You get a Democrat out of office and a Republican in office, and, all of a sudden, the Drive-Bys note what they claim — and it’s true — is a more realistic number. But we’ve been with Trump here in office for one month, and you might be able to make a case that some of the uptick in economic activity beginning in November and December you could also partially credit to Trump just because of the attitudinal improvement that had no doubt come over a majority of the country based on votes and Trump’s promises and his transition, making it very clear that he was gonna keep all of these promises.
Trump was not even in office for 10 days of January and they’re already associating the U-6 unemployment number to him and his policies. Here’s what CNBC says. “Each month on ‘Jobs Friday,’ the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts out a treasure trove of economic data, each of which provides its own perspective on the labor market and the employment situation. Economists look past the official unemployment rate — that 4.8 percent figure, also known as the ‘U-3’ — to other metrics that give their own view of jobs in the country. One of those figures is called the U-6 rate –”
We need to do a LexisNexis survey and find out how many Drive-By Media outlets ever talked about U-6 from 2009 through 2016. I’ll bet you we could put it on one hand. “One of those figures is called the U-6 rate, which has a broader definition of unemployment than does the U-3. In January, that number ticked up from 9.2 percent to 9.4 percent. The official unemployment rate is defined as ‘total unemployed,'” meaning the unemployed, the underemployed, the discouraged, the hopeless, the having given up.
But all of a sudden now after Trump’s in office for 10 days of the reporting month, all of a sudden the U-6 is gonna be reported. It’s a travesty. It is another glaring example of journalistic malpractice. And it isn’t just CNBC. They’re all gonna do it, because the purpose here is to make Trump’s policies look ineffective, and if they can, to make Trump’s policies look like failures.